It’s one of football’s worst kept secrets, and Xavi Hernandez appears keen for his Barcelona homecoming to be tied up as soon as possible.
The former midfielder, an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering squad, played his last game for the club on June 6, 2015, in the Champions League final against Juventus.
Almost six and a half years later, he will return to a very different Camp Nou, and one where the lion’s share of responsibility in terms of bringing back the glory days will fall on his shoulders.
It’s a responsibility that he’s ready to assume and a role that he’s keen to get started with.
He gave an interview after Al-Sadd’s 3-3 draw with Al-Duhail, detailed by Sport, in which he reiterated his desire to move back to Catalonia, and would be having dinner with the directors of both clubs as they look to hammer out an agreement.
As long as there are no hitches, fans of Barcelona are likely to welcome one of their own with open arms.
Humiliated on and off the pitch, and starved of their usual fare, they’ll surely expect Xavi to hit the ground running in that regard.
It’ll be interesting to see how much time they’re willing to give Xavi to settle, as the fan base were on Ronald Koeman’s case incessantly, and not long after he started in the position.
That may have been as much to do with the Dutchman’s pig-headedness about certain aspects as anything else.
In any event, it’s clear Xavi could do with a helping hand, and if he can replicate some of his playing successes on the bench, he’ll be feted just as much now as he was then.